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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 1, 2012 11:15pm-12:00am EDT

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>> next, but to be intended or not author event while touring little rock arkansas. we visited the city as part of our local content cities to her examining the literary landscapes of several southeastern cities. in the 40 minute events, ms. mcclafferty talks about the mount vernon estate set out to better understand what the first u.s. president looked like, different moments in his life. >> nonfiction books on wide array of topics from george washington to x-rays to marie curie to varian frye, an american holocaust rescuer to tech titans like bill gates and steve jobs and others peered so when i began a project they know very little about my topics and as i began to do the research, i
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sort of go on a treasure hunt. that's the way like to look at it. i use primary sources in order to gather the material to write nonfiction books that are not only accurate, but hopefully interesting as well. so when i began to look into this book about george washington and decided to write this book, i really began with george washington in the very same way. i knew very little about washington. i heard of course that he had shot down a cherry tree, which he didn't and i heard you were a week, which he didn't. and i heard that he wore wooden teeth, which he didn't. so i found that very quickly the things i thought i knew about george washington were absolutely not and have them correct. so as i began this book, which i describe as csi needs the biography channel and you'll see why as we go along, it's really
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been a treat for me to replace all of those smith with facts about george washington. the premise that the book is really at this. the george washington really look like his image on dollars though? when mount vernon did some research, they found that most americans would describe the image of george washington taken from the portrait as old, boring and from eight? of course they realize they would have to change the way of looking at the father of our country. they devised a plan in which they would create three life-size figures into which washington at the ages of 19 and 45 and 57. and to do this they really compiled a team from the experts from all over the world. the first one that came to the project is dr. jeffrey schwartz, a physical anthropologist and he became the project. from there, he gathered other
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experts and they all began to these three pieces of art. these will all done by john antoine who was assigned master sculptor of the day of washington's day and he actually came to mount vernon to observe washington and while he was there, he created the life mask that you see on the right side and he also created what you see on the left side and gave the bus to washington as a parting gift when he last. when he went back to his studio in paris, he created this beautiful marble statue that is still the virginia state capitol in richmond. there's no doubt these three pieces of art show at george washington look like at the age of 53. subpoenas for the gold standards for as for this whole project. from there, they got the help of
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dr. on schumann raskin who is with the prison laboratory at arizona state university and they devised a way to scan all of these priceless artifacts in a way that would not damage them. so as you see, this is the washington bias been done with the laserscan there and on the bottom left you see where all of that information was fed into a computer system and that sort of made a match that was an exact replica. sydney did many of the artifacts this way. and as they did, they were able to study them and they were able then to get all of these various measurements that were from george washington because as the mast or sculptor they would've measured every part of his body.
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so when they had all of that information, the other thing necessary to figure out is the one thing that every school child knows about george washington and that his study at ventures. he did indeed have ventures in the direction of the dentures at george washington actually had in his mouth at some point in his life. i would like to point out when i do school visits the one on the top left as you see the spring there is really a heinous looking thing. server time now when i look at the dollar bill and i see that picture of george washington, i envision it denture like this one in his mouth and i have a lot of sympathy for him. at the time he would've struggled to keep that in his mouth and they would've been sort of embarrassed about the way it made a small foot. but these dentures play a very important role in this process.
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but they were able to do with this is determined because of the denture, determine the shape of his job and every step along the way, they then put that information to see if it fit perfectly within our past because that was the gold standard. if it didn't sit there it wasn't right. so as the project moved along, the science and came to a close and ended up with three incredible computer files of george washington as he was with looked at night team, 45 and 57. you can see there's quite a lot of different in these images if you look close you. at 19 years of age he would've had a much longer face than he did later in life. as he lost teeth as he did throughout his life, his face would appear shorter and shorter periods of this information was an important part.
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when the computer files were finished and went to a phone had a mantua clay had. but once again it took the scale of a master sculptor. it took stewart to take that information in this clay heads and really crashed into the tabs and spaces and expression and a woman in time to wrinkles that can reduce you face to the master sculptor once again to accomplish your there as you see on the left, they were then turned into? heads. then when the? heads were finished, these eyeballs were placed in this type because if you think about it, if i bolster? , david never look real that they put these in beautiful acrylic eyeballs and there's no doubt that george washington
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eyecolor was bluegray. many people instead wrote about the color of his eyes so there's no doubt about that. says the project said it moved along, it went really to the pier are expensive things. i really had a very fortunate experience when i was doing the work for this book because i had the incredible opportunity to go to mount vernon would be redoing the yearly maintenance of these three figures. on the left is diana cordray, the amount vernon manager and in the middle east today, an incredible artist as you'll see in him the right to stephen horak, and i still wake master. and while it is fair i was able to see these figures as they remain tainted with it with lincoln felt like when i was of
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course able to ask all of the questions needed to ask and ask all the things i asked when i was little girl. how long did it take you? was made out of? y and y and y? and then what happened? so this was really a wonderful opportunity for me to see these figures as they were being worked on and see them up close and see how they went about creating a. sue day is not only the artists huc in a moment, and that she is the one who put the hairline and tv shows the three figures of george washington. you can see here and the size she is putting one's human hair in a time directly into the? and in this way it looks like the hair is actually growing out of his head.
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it's critical to get the hairline right on this figures and she's constantly checking against all of these images of george washington because if the hairline is not correct, none of that would look right. so one by one she used as this tool to put in that hairline and she did so for each of these figures. it is painstaking work. also there is no doubt what color george bush and his hair a mess. the reason there is no doubt if very many. that's the survey on i actually got to see some of it. it is kind of the chestnut color. not really red, not really brown, somewhere in the middle. so she is using hair that was purchased from a hair merchant and london and exactly the color they needed a tv. this is an image of stephen horak as he has getting ready to
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put one of his custom wigs back on one of george's has. as you can see on the left side, this would assign the assigned general washington had. he takes one in hair that time and make some custom mx custom web stephen is also the one who does george washington sayer. so is the progress of this continues, i just went she has eyeballs are in, but his hairline is then the incredible week in the background advance
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one base coat of paint on his face. the wednesday day creates magic puts the very paleface and puts george washington. i write in the book and i try when i speak to schoolchildren all over, i try to bring all of this too late for them by saying every time i see this figure, i know it doesn't felixstowe though when he touches face, but it looks so real. here is one of my favorite images of young george washington and up close and personal look at the figure. i remind people that each was one hair at a time from each
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eyelash one at a time and i think the incredible skill is the these incredible pieces look like. so george washington also where the experts created of the way his body looks is because they studied the textiles there's many pieces of clothing that george washington wore during his lifetime. the uniform on the left is this a sony and of american history. the things on the right are in the collection of mount vernon. so textile expert will then investigated all of his pieces of posting unmeasured each piece fits that we are not only able
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to understand the size of george washington, but also a fitting those clothes. so they understand what of the shapely. linda baumgart is the textile expert in williamsburg and i interviewed linda for the book and she gave me the real thrill of going into the vaults at colonial williamsburg to see 18th century clothing. she was able to answer a lot of questions for me. i was able to ask her, what part of george washington life and the way he had to do with the clothes he wore and the way it made him stand in the way of new and those things are very important to me. they like to say george bush came away from a vernon at
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colonial williamsburg. here are the finished figures as you see them at mount vernon today. this shows young george as a surveyor in 18 years old and each piece of clothing was made using 18 century method and are absolutely stunning. this is what general george washington would have looked like at about the time he was at valley forge and this is what president george washington would've looked like on the day of his first inauguration. but as i said, to no tennis early for me when i went to mount vernon. mount vernon is founded not rated by mount vernon ladies association and the first time i went the righteous but on the back porch and watch the sun.
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and i did that. i got up at 4:31 morning and i made my way fairness that down on the far right side and like myself there has to be a moment when i really cannot put my subject. and for me, that moment was right here. i saw this incredible sunrise, over the potomac river and i realized how many times must george washington see this site? and for me it was the moment tbk rail. in a research, he really became more and more real the more i researched his life. here's a close-up of young george in each of these periods of time that i talk about the book, i'd really like to, what
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george washington was like. in the series when he's the man, he ended up to be a ruddy complexion, which is athletic and strong at long arms he was a survivor of the wilderness and he left the horse races, foxhunting, cards, earlier. he was fashionable and very interested in closing. he is one of the best in recent virginia and he was very ambitious. again when i talk to school kids, i like to explain george washington in this way. george washington was such a man that the men admired his flexibility and the women wanted
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to dance them at the ball. i believe when he came into the room every head turned. by the time he was 22 years thought he was famous not only in virginia but in england and france. he was a famous necessary for some great because what he was sort of in vaults with actually began the french and indian war. soon he was actually well known long before he became the father of our country. i had a very interesting way to connect george washington when i found the letter said george wrote to his wife, martha, only two of them makes this. i was fascinated because those two letters are from 1775, and george washington is taking command of the continental army. i love this letter, which i found a way to put into the
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boat, where he's telling her from the lighthouse via any size, he's going to have to take command of the continental army and is basically saying, no martha, i've got to go. you know i've got to do this. and he says at the end they feel no pain from the toilet or the danger of campaign. my unhappiness will flow from the uneasiness you a feel of being left alone. but i had a wonderful experience that i will not fit this letter. so i've pulled myself every time i spoke about this book. this was written a few days after the first letter and he was still in philadelphia getting ready to go to came ridge. he writes mark and says they are
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waiting on me to leave and going out to camp at boston. but he tells her in the bottom, i retain an unalterable affection for you, which neither time nor distance can change. so for me, this is really an part of unders and the 10 because sometimes they been key in martha's relationship is sort of made into something it's not any think in these letters they see letters they see george washington added the love from his life. at the time washington is that valley forge, he is in a period of time during the war that is difficult. he is being discussed in congress as whispers that maybe we need to get rid of them. he's really not doing so hot in this work. and so when he leads his men to
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valley forge, george washington has a bottom is mind. you can see that stewart incredible mastery of sculpture here, see dave incredible talent in painting this phase and the worry and stress in his eyes because he knows that he is going into winter quarters in the british are occupying philadelphia is only 16 miles away. and a lot of them don't have any shoes on their feet. as they walk through the snow at the least bloody footprints and they don't have enough clothes to keep them warm when it is their turn to be on guard. and some in congress want to replace him. so he has a lot, a lot on his mind here. but i try in this book to show george washington the odds of his contemporaries.
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this was written by a frenchman, any two by stephen who came to valley forge to help washington. and this is what he said about george washington's first time he saw him. i could not keep my asinine imposing countenance. brave yet not severe, affable without familiarity. its predominant expression with calm dignity, through which you could trace a strong feelings of the patriot and disturb father as well as the commander of the soldiers. so i think it's just a beautiful way to look at george washington through the eyes of someone who saw him at rallies words. after the war was finally one and it took a long years, which washington had the entire time
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with his troops without going home for winter quarters, he was actually given the incredible honor in the first person to sign the u.s. is to to shame. you will notice that was not signed until five years after the war was over. is it difficult and unsettling time and they had to go through a lot to get this constitution, which put into play not only the congress that the presidency and vice presidents be in washington was given the honor being first assigned. as the first presidential election came, george washington was voted unanimously to be the first president of the united states and in reality there is no other choice but to. i write in the book and when i speak i like to set the scene. i like for readers to feel that
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moment, see that moment, here that moment. i think this is one of those times in the book that have really built the scene around primary source documents. and at this moment, when george washington is going to become the first president to the 90s days, the crowd is gathered in the intersection of wall and broad st. and not he could afflict the love to see trinity church, which you can still see today. and the building the operation was held in his up a sign that fall you see today, but the one here has replaced it. but as the crowd is waiting for washington on that day, he has driven up and away coach with with six white horses and let
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onto the cobblestones that the intersection there in the crowd is silent when you get out. and they removed their hats and he removes his any bows to an side and to the other until he makes his way. and the entire crowd he takes the oath of office on the balcony of federal hall and the crowd just sweeps. so many different people where they are, including the foreign dignitaries. one of those was a representative of france and this is how he described george washington that they. he is the soul, look at figure figure of the hero united in him he's never embarrassed at the homage rendered him and has the
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advantage of great dignity with great simplicity. so i love to see george washington through the eyes of someone on that day. as i close my comments today, i do love this image that is actually the opposite of the image that is some book cover. it is that the three churches, bind it together and i think they are absolutely stunning. i would like to mention that the mount vernon project to make these three figures is made possible by grants from the donald b. reynolds foundation and its been an honor for me to have the chance to take part in making this story come to life for a new generation and it's been a real treat for me because mount vernon nonsoap and there are incentives and gracious and
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loving to all the research i needed and it just been really of course no thrill for me. so as we conclude this, i would love to take some questions if you have any. yes. we can hear if anyone would like to ask a question. >> hi, kyra. have you considered writing about any of their president in this manner? investigating them in humanizing him for children? and if so, do you have any precedents in mind that interest you? >> i've never really thought of doing it because the project is so unique that i'm not sure it will ever be done this way again.
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i'm always looking for new ideas, but i don't have any real plans for that case this is so unusual. the reason it works with washington said the president that were alive after photography was around, and getting a true sense of what they look like it's not the same. i would love to dig into a president any day. >> hello. my name is patrick. i do go up picking your subject matter when you select the books to write about? >> they each come in a different way really for me. the first one they -- the head bone is connected to the net
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phone. and then the marie curie book, something out of nothing came out of that vote. and then the next when i was interested in the holocaust, so i've found the story who was an american holocaust. and then george washington and then after that is the modern type. so they all sort of sign. in a way. >> you started your presentation with some myths that she found no virtue. what did you find out it was particularly interest me in your research that she didn't leave before that is true? >> there's so many things really. part of what fascinated me in this project was detailed to the x for win -- the links they went to. one of the reasons is that when
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george washington was named team, he went with his brother to the caribbean because his brother had tuberculosis. and though he cut smallpox while he was there. so for the rest of his life, george washington had smallpox virus on his face. and if you look carefully at the portraits of 10, if you leave out tracy is left side you'll see if smallpox pyrite air. the two older figures of 10 have that pockmarked. in this interest seemed to me now that i know that and i'll give portraits of washington in the that all of these artists -- it's always there. and so it must've been very obvious. so i think that is one tiny detail. but as far as what he did, i had no idea of his involvement in
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the french and indian war. i've no idea when he was a very young and he had a lot of response ability and he did a lot of trips for the government for virginia and was in the virginia militia. so there're many eggs about 10 that i didn't know. washington for me is one of the people that the more you know about washington, the better it gets. sometimes it not the same in the research someone's life. so he's one of the really extrude merry men and i believe myself that i do not and who he was, we would not be what we are as a country. >> if you had a chance on all three of those figures were alive then you said that each of
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those in washington sites have become personal to you, which one of those three which you want to go out? >> young george. [laughter] and i'm really partial to young george washington because i knew absolutely nothing about 10 and that part of his life. the idea that he was really such a rugged man and it just altered my way of thinking about george washington. you know, i sometimes think about the country song is country can survive, that is how i feel about 10. he could have survived in the wilderness forever and it was extraordinary. so john and george really my favorite. thank you. >> carla, which he talked about
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the other research you've done on your other books because your research has been extraordinary. you didn't get to do this by having your name drawn out of a hat. you were chosen because of your research. can you talk about that? i feel very much when you write for the kind of books that i rate i don't believe that you can just throw that together. and so for every book i have read, i really had done the work and away that i can be proud of having done it. in the book before this one, i'm especially proud to, which was about american holocaust rescuer whose stories they are little known. the fact that he volunteered and
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i think it is a story that is the main thing and i am sad but very few people know it. so to do all of that reads there each, i went to columbia university where his papers are housed in went through hundreds and hundreds of letters, but it was enough letters and true for every embedded servers at each. it's through those letters that if you get to know these people come in the same is true for marie curie. after a while you start back at anything the way they talk and the way they related and the way they rephrased during and washington is same way. after a while, they are so familiar that they almost become like a friend because you know that the way they put their
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thoughts together and for the very bright, it was those letters that i found out that the color of the trolley, which he could see in no atmosphere that he saw in the face of those refugees it was those words to make them come to life for me. so i think it very personal research into their own words. that really makes the difference and that is what i try to bring to life so that it can my readers can feel it and hearit, smell it the. that is the date to book should do. >> as much as george washington as per trade on the dollar bill, as motherly figure, what did you learn about her that interested
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you how we should know about? >> i had to cut marth out of the book in so many places. and so, i guess in great films i was only cutting room floor. there's a lot of merit to in the cutting room floor. and i wanted her in the book much more than she is and vote. but as a not very you have to stay with what the book is about. and i did put her in as much as i could. but my concession price if i tell her the story. but i learned about art to his people kind of think he married her for her money and to make it different from what i believe it
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was. i believe george was lucky to marth and martha was lucky to have george. he was well known already tenuous a great catch. she was a very wealthy widow and all the bachelors know all about her and she was a good catch. as time went on, they truly loved each other and she is what kept him grounded in a lot of ways and she went to winter quarters whenever he called it when he wrote to her it's time to come, she came and she would stay until it was time to leave. and not a common case people don't know, and that date they would go into winter quarters and they didn't fight battles allowed in the winter. they loved her and an absolutely
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everything she was just wish you like a nice portraits. and i think for george washington, mrs. carlo's opinion, he had a mother who is difficult and i think he had fallen in love with the woman that was not a good idea because he was 30 merry. so i think he had a lot of things that markiewicz jazz up a solace for him. you think he was exactly like 10 new. anything else? >> you captured my attention with this defense brinker brought me back to the braces days.
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so could you tell us -- i can't picture them to set this area. so who made these false teeth and what were they made out of about five clicks did you learn all that? >> yeah, absolutely. i do go to bed but because there's fascinating parts to it. the ones that i showed today, the ones from mount vernon that have been not alone been, the upper teeth or cow and horse teeth. the bottom where human teeth, but probably not george's. the others were carved out of hippopotamus ivory with human teeth and some of those. it was common in the 18th century for poor people to sell their teeth. and the retentive soon made false teeth and washington had several pairs of dentures throughout his lifetime and he was probably. with one that periods of those
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three i showed are not the only dentures he ever had. but they are the three that there is no question about. but there is quite a bit dentistry going on, far more than i ever would've dreamed before doing this book. but those teeth than the fact that he lost he was a huge part of re-creating these figures because that really told them about the shape of his faith in the shape of his shop, which made huge, huge difference. so it is sort of -- to me it sort of is that thing. of course he's not the only one in his day who didn't have a lot teeth, but to be in the public eye as he was in two of dentures like that was a struggle. yet a lot of pain with his teeth and it was difficult. well, thank you very much for coming to see this presentation
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tonight. it has been an honor and a privilege. [applause] >> is full of rock we can on booktv. throughout the week and hear from several local offers, through the city and learn about some lesser-known history. arkansas became the 25th state in 1836 in little rock was in the capital city. he's best known for being the home of the clinton library in little rock central high. >> the story of nine people who lived america's and basically takes controversial people. there's some questions that maybe can be answered, maybe can't. but people are always complex and it's always a mistake to simplify and say they did this for just one reason. one of the most interesting people in the book is bernie babcock. she was born in ohio but her
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parents moved to arkansas when she was a little girl but she grew up about the rest of her life here in arkansas and was involved in political act the same for literally. temperance movement, women's suffrage. although she didn't finish in a new degree. she was interested in writing. she started doing research of various things. she was fascinated with abraham lincoln. at one point she was considered one of the country's best authorities on lincoln. she got upset when people make fun of our prints the pew at the humorous made all sorts of jokes about arkansas. she wanted to prove arkansas was at an adolescent culture. so bernie started in ecm. it was a museum at natural history and had indian artifacts and various kinds of things that were found around the state. animals on display, stuffed animals of course. whatever she could get donated, whatever she could get money raised by. it started out a little storefront here in little rock and then ended up in city hall.
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then the great depression came along and they closed out in at the stuff in storage. a lot of it disappeared. in fact newspaper writers pull stuff out of the garbage with a founded in in the alley. bernie held onto it and eventually ended up in the arsenal miles south of downtown little rock. she was able to get permission to put the museum back on display in the old u.s. arsenal and that is where she put on things like king crowley, the piece of sand don't let some people was hundreds of hundreds of years old can actually probably was the 20 century frat, but she wasn't willing to admit the possibility at the time. she lived in the basement of the building and basically just claimed the museum space. there are actually lawsuits about which group ideas which ran, but she thought for the right to put these things on display in the building. she also renamed to the park with the building was located because in 1880 general douglas
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macarthur was born, so she got the place remains macarthur park and got them to come back for the dedication of the new name. the museum she started is not the museum of discovery right here in the river market district of arkansas, where close to the arkansas studies institute and and a thrill it is bernie's some letters in the work she did, photograph she tucks are in the collections in the institute on the inside library campus. but she kept on writing. she was in her auxiliaries with the manuscript in her hand can't dedicated to writing in time the story of arkansas collecting as much information she could share about the place. >> coming up next, richard brookhiser talks about the founding fathers, rules of stability in the conservative movement. the documentary writer is host

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